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Are Children "Normal"?

Author

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  • Black, Dan A.

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Kolesnikova, Natalia

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Sanders, Seth G.

    () (Duke University)

  • Taylor, Lowell J.

    () (Carnegie Mellon University)

Abstract

We examine Becker's (1960) contention that children are "normal." For the cross section of non-Hispanic white married couples in the U.S., we show that when we restrict comparisons to similarly-educated women living in similarly-expensive locations, completed fertility is positively correlated with the husband's income. The empirical evidence is consistent with children being "normal." In an effort to show causal effects, we analyze the localized impact on fertility of the mid-1970s increase in world energy prices – an exogenous shock that substantially increased men's incomes in the Appalachian coal-mining region. Empirical evidence for that population indicates that fertility increases in men's income.

Suggested Citation

  • Black, Dan A. & Kolesnikova, Natalia & Sanders, Seth G. & Taylor, Lowell J., 2011. "Are Children "Normal"?," IZA Discussion Papers 5959, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5959
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Larry E. Jones & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "An Economic History of Fertility in the U.S.: 1826-1960," NBER Working Papers 12796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mary Borg, 1989. "The Income-Fertility Relationship: Effect of the Net Price of a Child," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(2), pages 301-310, May.
    3. Dan Black & Terra McKinnish & Seth Sanders, 2005. "The Economic Impact Of The Coal Boom And Bust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 449-476, April.
    4. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
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    7. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
    8. Dan Black & Kermit Daniel & Seth Sanders, 2002. "The Impact of Economic Conditions on Participation in Disability Programs: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 27-50, March.
    9. Simon, Curtis J. & Tamura, Robert, 2009. "Do higher rents discourage fertility? Evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 33-42, January.
    10. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a �True Natural Experiment�," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 14-64, Part II, .
    12. Black, Dan & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2003. "Measurement of Higher Education in the Census and Current Population Survey," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 545-554, January.
    13. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1363-1402.
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    15. Black, Dan & Gates, Gary & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2002. "Why Do Gay Men Live in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 54-76, January.
    16. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hannah Liepmann, 2016. "The Impact of a Negative Labor Demand Shock on Fertility - Evidence from the Fall of the Berlin Wall," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-042, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. David Canning & Declan French & Michael Moore, 2016. "The Economics of Fertility Timing: An Euler Equation Approach," CHaRMS Working Papers 16-03, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
    3. Markus Brueckner & Hannes Schwandt, 2015. "Income and Population Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1653-1676, December.
    4. repec:dem:demres:v:36:y:2017:i:51 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dettling, Lisa J. & Kearney, Melissa S., 2014. "House prices and birth rates: The impact of the real estate market on the decision to have a baby," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 82-100.
    6. Kristiina Huttunen & Jenni Kellokumpu, 2016. "The Effect of Job Displacement on Couples' Fertility Decisions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 403-442.
    7. Michael Lovenheim & Kevin Mumford, 2010. "Do Family Wealth Shocks Affect Fertility Choices? Evidence from the Housing Market Boom and Bust," Discussion Papers 09-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    8. Ager, Philipp & Brueckner, Markus & Herz, Benedikt, 2017. "Structural Change and the Fertility Transition in the American South," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 6/2017, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    9. Tia Palermo & Sudhanshu Handa & Amber Peterman & Leah Prencipe & David Seidenfeld, 2016. "Unconditional government social cash transfer in Africa does not increase fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1083-1111, October.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:123-142 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. David Canning & Declan French & Michael Moore, 2016. "The Economics of Fertility Timing: An Euler Equation Approach," CHaRMS Working Papers 16-03, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
    12. repec:gam:jecomi:v:6:y:2018:i:3:p:40-:d:158150 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt, 2015. "Short and Long-Term Effects of Unemployment on Fertility," CEP Discussion Papers dp1387, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. Hofmann, Barbara & Hohmeyer, Katrin, 2016. "The effect of the business cycle at college graduation on fertility," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 88-102.
    15. Day, Creina & Guest, Ross, 2016. "Fertility and female wages: A new link via house prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 121-132.
    16. Braga, Breno, 2018. "The Effects of Trade Exposure on Marriage and Fertility Choices: Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 11875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Reginald Covington & Asia Sikora Kessler, 2016. "Labor Market Conditions At School-Leaving: Long-Run Effects On Marriage And Fertility," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 63-88, January.
    18. Vellore Arthi & Brian Beach & W. Walker Hanlon, 2017. "Estimating the Recession-Mortality Relationship when Migration Matters," NBER Working Papers 23507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Thomas A. Garrett & Natalia A. Kolesnikova, 2010. "Local price variation and the tax incidence of state lotteries," Working Papers 2010-035, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    20. Liepmann, Hannah, 2018. "The Impact of a Negative Labor Demand Shock On Fertility - Evidence From the Fall of the Berlin Wall," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 69, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    21. Anca Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2010. "Resource Curse or Malthusian Trap? Evidence from Oil Discoveries and Extractions," Working Papers 201001, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
    22. Creina Day & Ross S. Guest, 2014. "The Effect of Gender Wages and Working Age Populations on Fertility and House Prices," Crawford School Research Papers 1401, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    23. Black, Dan A. & Kolesnikova, Natalia & Taylor, Lowell J., 2014. "Why do so few women work in New York (and so many in Minneapolis)? Labor supply of married women across US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 59-71.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economics of fertility; location choice; Appalachian fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General

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